It was another exciting year for South African golfers, both locally and on the international stage, with many famous victories. But, for Erik van Rooyen, it sure was a year worth remembering as he became a first-time winner on the European Tour in his debut season.
Daniel van Tonder (Zambia Open winner and current Sunshine Tour Order of Merit Leader), Shaun Norris (Top Cup Tokai Classic Winner in Aichi, Japan), Dylan Fritelli (John Deere Classic winner) and Zander Lombard ( 2018-19 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit Winner).
Justin Harding was one of four South Africans who claimed victory on the European Tour in the 2018-19 season and it came in emphatic fashion when he won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters; it was a special part of his journey towards the Masters.
The 33-year-old made the most of that opportunity, finishing tied 12th and the best-placed South African at Augusta National. His putt on the 72nd hole earned him a return invite to the 2020 edition of the competition.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout was also a first-time winner on the European Tour this season, storming to victory over Jon Rahm at the Andalucia Masters in Spain – he finished tied second at the Qatar Masters.
Louis Oosthuizen seemed to be hitting the straps of his old form this year with a very successful season on the European Tour. A famous win at the South African Open to finish off last year was followed by a consistent and mature 2019 during which he finished eighth in the Race to Dubai.
Erik van Rooyen took the European Tour by storm this year with seven top-10 finishes and finally claiming his maiden victory at the Scandinavian Invitational in Sweden in August.
The 29-year-old came close to a second victory on the tour in November when he finished tied second at the Turkish Airlines Open after a historic six-man playoff under lights, after which Englishman Tyrrel Hatton walked away with the title.
He also finished in the top 10 in the PGA Championship as he continued to build his way towards the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Also, in September he was crowned Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year, becoming the third South African to claim this award. Van Rooyen eventually finished the season in 10th place in the Race to Dubai and looks set for a Masters invite when the world rankings close for the year.